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Rise in steroid misuse by Singapore teens a worrying trend: Fitness experts - Channel NewsAsia
At first, the year-old was content to let hard work build up his muscles. But four years ago, his desire to have a body he was proud to show off led him to experiment with anabolic steroids, which can accelerate muscle growth.
And although his career in competitive bodybuilding only lasted three contests, he has continued to take steroids to maintain his muscle mass. Recent Instagram selfies show the results, as he posed in pictures showing his massively bulging deltoids and biceps, as well as his six-pack abdominals. Sleeplessness was only part of the problem: John is not the only young person venturing into the world of injectable and oral anabolic steroids to develop big and defined muscles.
More teens have apparently been tempted by the fast gains that steroids offer in terms of muscle size and definition. Ten local gym managers, personal trainers and bodybuilders that Channel NewsAsia spoke to over a month-long period confirmed this trend. An example of an unlicensed injectable bottle of anabolic steroid that can be purchased in the online black market.
And there are other clear signs of steroid use, said Dex. They have deformities that make the person look older than He added that although some young bodybuilders deny using steroids, their abnormally overdeveloped muscles can only come from using them.
According to John, teen steroid users have limited awareness of the potential side effects of using steroids. Often, young users will turn to their suppliers for advice on how to take steroids - and few of them have any proper medical knowledge.
But that is no problem in his circle of acquaintances. A pair of youths flexing their muscles. It is quite common in fact for young fitness buffs from ages 17 to 18 onwards to take such performance-enhancing drugs PEDs.
For those users who do not want to buy in person, there are various online portals selling injectable and oral steroids like Deca-durabolin, Anavar, Trenbolone and Winstrol. Some websites also provide home deliveries. Said an online distributor, in response to an email query from Channel NewsAsia: Another search on Instagram and Carousell also revealed several other anabolic steroid sellers. A seller advertising steroids on Instagram.
Unlicensed selling of steroids can lead to fines and jail time under the law. You can buy things online or from unscrupulous dealers who want to make a quick buck," said Andrew Johnson, who has been in the local fitness scene for a number of years.
Everyone wants to get bigger, faster and stronger. Guys wanna be macho, have big arms and that sort of thing. But for women, they are doing it because they want to lose weight and look fitter. However, he added that there are anti-estrogens available on the black market to counteract these side-effects.
Meanwhile, gym-goer John had teen friends who had reported blood abnormalities from prolonged steroid use. For John, his use of steroids over a number of years has also led to hair loss.
According to fitness insiders, steroids alone won't have its desired effect as it has to be used in conjunction with gym workouts and dieting to achieve muscular gains. While some users believe they know how to take steroids safely, cardiologist Dr Ong Hee Yean from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital suggested that is not possible.
The dose which is required for effective change in muscle appearance or improvement in performance will almost always lead to side effects. A muscular man flexing his back muscles. While he was seeing remarkable progress in muscle size and definition from taking steroids, psychological side-effects crept up on John. He then realised the cause of his mental issues. Psychological issues are a little known but serious side effect of steroid misuse, according to Dr Richard Swinbourne, Head and Senior Sport Dietitian at the Singapore Sports Institute.
Side effects are many and varied, and it includes psychiatric disorders, aggression… and depression. Bodybuilding judge Andrew Johnson believes there should be more efforts to educate parents about the dangers of teen steroid usage. Even then, only the cream of the crop - the elite level youth athletes - are subjected to random testing by Anti-Doping Singapore.
Johnson also thinks widening the net for dope testing would deter youths from trying steroids at the start of their sporting journey. Skip Navigation Jump to Main. However, taking steroids has come at a cost.